Things That Everyone Should Know About Eating Disorders
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Things That Everyone Should Know About Eating Disorders

August 25, 2019

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my channel and thank you so much for being here. As you can see from the title, we’re gonna be chatting about eating disorders today. And it’s just been eating disorders awareness week in the US and in the UK. Now, I would’ve got this video up a little bit sooner but you know, life… *children cheering* So here we are jumping on the bandwagon, little bit late, but you know what, eating disorder awareness is something that we need to talk about all year round. So that’s what we’re gonna do. Estimates for how many people are affected by eating disorders in the UK range from about 725,000 to 1.6 million and there’s actually not really a good way to get an accurate reading because so many people don’t reach out, and the numbers of people affected are based on the people who are diagnosed who reach out for help. So even though these are illnesses that affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions of us here in the UK, we are still fucking clueless about eating disorders. And our cluelessness is hurting people. ‘Cos what it’s doing is creating stigma, first of all, y’know stigma about mental illness, it’s still everywhere and it’s largely based on misconception. Our lack of knowledge about eating disorders also stops people from seeking treatment. Because y’know they don’t think that there’s a problem they don’t think they could have an eating disorder because we don’t really know what they mean. And ultimately our lack of education about eating disorders as a culture is stopping us from being able to do what we can to prevent and properly treat them. ‘Cos y’know how can you prevent or treat something that you don’t understand. So! Here we are. Camera’s rolling. I have enough dry shampoo in my hair to sink a small battleship. Let’s bust some eating disorder myths. Now if you’ve followed me for a while you’re probably familiar with my history of eating disorders. Uh, here’s a quick recap, for anyone who isn’t… I started dieting at around 10-years-old, and very quickly that spiraled into a real obsession with weight and calories and making my body smaller and smaller. So what started as dieting got more and more restrictive and took over more and more of my life and more and more of my mind until it was pretty much all that mattered to me. My number one goal in life was just making my body smaller, and I was gonna do whatever it took to get there. And then the diets morphed into something completely different, and didn’t feel optional anymore. And before I knew it I was being taken to the doctors when I was 14-years-old and being told that I had something called anorexia nervosa. Now at the time of my diagnosis, I didn’t have much of an idea of what anorexia nervosa was I hadn’t studied it in school and I hadn’t talked about it at home I had occasionally seen it on the TV and it always seemed to happen to thin, rich, white ladies. And apart from TV I also sometimes saw it in my mum’s magazines laid out in that y’know tragic true life setting. You know it seemed to be this kind of horrible, but rare thing and I sure as hell never thought that it would happen to me. Now at 14 I didn’t have a very developed sense of mental illnesses in general I didn’t understand them, and as far as I was concerned I was just losing weight the way that I had been taught to the way the world had taught me to. And y’know, 10 pounds ago people were still complimenting me on my willpower and asking me what the secret was, and then all of a sudden I was sat in a doctor’s office and they were saying ‘you have a a mental illness’. I didn’t know what was going on. And I didn’t take it seriously for a long long time. And I struggled through anorexia for two years. And a big part of anorexia generally is denial, not believing that there’s a problem. And I don’t think that was helped by not really having an education on what eating disorders were. So there I was, not believing that there was a problem, even when I was pulled out of school, even when I had to spend a summer in a residential psychiatric unit and even when I was hospitalised. And actually the very first time that I kind of admitted to myself that there was a serious problem, was when my parents were being told by the doctors that they couldn’t guarantee how much longer I would live and that they could probably say their goodbyes. In previous years, even up to last year I probably would have popped up a little picture of me when I was at my sickest. Now, I’m not gonna do that today. Because the thing is I fit the stereotype of what we as a culture think that anorexia looks like I have the scary low weight pictures, I have the typical, y’know, emaciated ‘look’ that people think anorexia is. And although reclaiming those pictures that was once a very very important part of my journey, because it was, it was reclaiming my experience it was owning it and it was showing that I could heal from it. That was important to me at once stage, but now I’m very aware that those pictures, and y’know scary low weight pictures in general they reinforce the stereotype that anorexia only looks one way. And they can also be a serious source of comparison for people who are still struggling. And even though I did fit the stereotype, there are thousands or even millions of people who are struggling right now who don’t, and won’t, and shouldn’t be made to feel like their illness is any less valid or worthy of help. So, no to the ‘before’ picture but that does bring us very nicely to our first fact about eating disorders: they come in all shapes and sizes. Because we have a serious lack of accurate representation of eating disorders in the media we have this really warped idea that we can tell one just from looking at someone. We’ve turned eating disorders into a look or a body type. And what this does is make anyone who’s struggling but doesn’t fit that look believe that they’re not sick enough, they’re not worthy of treatment, their eating disorder isn’t real. But the thing is, eating disorders are mental illnesses and they sometimes come with physical side effects that we can notice on someone’s appearance. Sometime’s they don’t. And whether they do or not that doesn’t actually determine how much someone is struggling. And even medically speaking, in this country your BMI has to be a certain number before you can get diagnosed with anorexia. And while that categorisation might provide some guidlines for who is in urgent need of physical care, it really doesn’t show who is in urgent need of mental care, which is anyone who’s struggling with an eating disorder at any size. If you don’t fit that weight requirement, if you’re lucky you might get a diagnosis of atypical anorexia which is generally considered anorexia but without the low weight. But time and time again we see these kind of horror stories where people have reached out for help with an eating disorder and been told ‘you’re not thin enough, your BMI isn’t low enough, come back in 6 months’. Telling someone who’s just come forward with a mental illness that they need to come back once they look different is bizarre and it’s dangerous and it is hurting people. Especially since delaying treatment of eating disorders can have serious consequences, and the sooner someone can get treatment the better and the higher chance they have of recovery. And this misconception that weight is the be all and end all of eating disorders means that there’s a serious double standard when it comes to a fat person reaching out for help, and a thin person reaching out for help. These two people could both be experiencing the exact same eating disorder behaviours. They could both be equally obsessed with food and calories and their weight and losing weight and it could be taking over their entire lives, and it could be having the same effect on both of them mentally. But when they go to the doctors and they reach out for help, they will be treated very differently. And sometimes being told to come back later isn’t even the worst case scenario. I know several people who exist in a fat body. who when they’ve reached out for help have simply been told ‘Congratulations, good job on your diet, you’re really dedicated, keep going!’ But these are the exact same behaviours that in a thin person would be diagnosed as an eating disorder in a heartbeat. And there is something very messed up with that picture. And the stereotypes about eating disorders having a certain look go way beyond size and shape, like I mentioned earlier my main picture was a rich, thin, white lady. That leaves a whole lot of people out and leads to the dangerous idea that people of colour don’t get eating disorders. Or only women get eating disorders. Or only middle class or rich people get eating disorders. Which just isn’t true because eating disorders don’t discriminate, they happen to people of all backgrounds and ethnicities, people of all ages, people of all genders, and abilities and social classes. There is no look to eating disorders, absolutely anyone can get one. So one more time for the people in the back: eating disorders are not body types they are mental illnesses, and every single one is worthy of recognition and treatment, regardless of how that person looks. I don’t know if you can hear it but there’s a little bit of rain coming down but we’re just gonna roll with it we’re just gonna carry on. Okay. The second thing that people need to know about eating disorders is that they are not a choice. Y’know back when I was ill probably the phrase that I heard the most was ‘why don’t you just eat more?’ They made it sound as simple as that, as if I had just kind of chosen to go off food or lose a bit of weight and it’s gone a bit too far. That massively oversimplifies how complex and how serious eating disorders are. Y’know the thing about choice is that it only feels like there’s a choice if the second option seems possible, and seems viable, like you could choose it. And often when you’re stuck in that eating disorder mindset it doesn’t feel like it’s a choice. It doesn’t feel like there’s another option. So phrases like ‘why don’t you just eat more?’ Yeah, great, thanks. Really just solved the whole problem there didn’t you Brenda? And because eating disorders are not a choice, they’re also not a diet gone too far or a bit of attention seeking got out of hand. They are serious, complex, multi-dimensional illnesses. And I don’t have time in this video to explore every possible explanation we currently have for eating disorders but there’s usually three main subjects that that people look into when they’re looking for the cause. First of all, the psychological factor. That is, what it is about specific individuals that make them more susceptible to the development of eating disorders. Traits like perfectionism or never feeling like you’re good enough, these are the type of psychological traits that we associate with people who are more likely to develop eating disorders. Second we have the socio-cultural, as in what is happening in the world around us. I actually wrote in my book on the chapter about eating disorders that if all the powers that be in the world were to kind of sit around a table and think ‘hmmmm how could we develop a world where the most possible eating disorders happen? What would that world look like?’ It would literally be this. This world that we live in is so saturated with diet culture and it really prescribes disordered eating of all kinds as the norm anyway. So of course this is a culture where people are more susceptible to developing eating disorders. And last but not least we have the physiological factor which could cover anything from a genetic built-in predisposition to contract an eating disorder. Or the physical effects that eating disorders have that kind of perpetuate them. So for example when it comes to restrictive eating disorders starvation over long periods of time causes actual physical changes in the brain and the brain chemicals, and this can bring you feelings of release and euphoria, or it can feel like an addiction. So the actual physical changes that happen in eating disorders carry the cycle on. So even from that little picture of how many possible causes there are I think it’s pretty clear that it’s not as simple as eating disorders being a choice. No one in the world would choose to have an eating disorder. Fact number three: there are more eating disorders than anorexia and bulimia, and absolutely all of them are serious and worthy of treatment. Binge eating disorder, orthorexia and OSFED (Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder) are all valid and dangerous disorders and they often aren’t recognised or taken as seriously as others. I think when it comes to eating disorders, we tend to only notice things in extremes because our culture does encourage disordered eating behaviours anyway, to everyone. For example if we look at bulimia, we have a very narrow idea of what that means we think that is someone gorging on huge quantities of food and then making themselves sick. But actually, the purging aspect of bulimia often comes through excessive amounts of exercise y’know trying to burn as many calories off as you can. But that’s something that our culture really encourages us to do all the time anyway, how many times a day do we hear that we have to burn off all of our ‘indulgences’ or ‘treats’? Y’know how many charts do we see in magazines saying ‘this is how many miles you have to run to burn off a doughnut’. Which by the way, you don’t have to run any miles, because you don’t have to burn off every single thing you eat. And when it comes to orthorexia, we’re really only just recognising it as a disorder, it’s not yet in the DSM-5 which means it’s technically not diagnosable, but it is real and it is spreading. Orthorexia is a term that was coined by Steven Bratman in 1997 I think? And it essentially means when the preoccupation with clean eating and food purity takes over your mental wellbeing. And because we are now living in a culture that is so drowned in fitspo and y’know clean eating trends and it’s all over social media, this is real and this is spreading. So if all these disordered patterns of eating are so normalised in our culture already, when do they become a disorder? I think the key to knowing whether you’re eating in a disordered way is the effect that it’s having on your mental health. So for example, wanting to eat organic kale and have the health benefits of a clean diet that in itself, that’s not an eating disorder and that’s not a problem, it’s when it starts to take over your every thought and you are completely obsessed with only eating the cleanest most pure things. And similarly there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work out or being into fitness or being a gym bunny, but if you start feeling like you have to centre your entire life around it and it’s all you think about night and day? Then I think it’s crossed the line into something else. Eating disorders take so many forms and just because one doesn’t fit the very narrow specific criteria or doesn’t fit other people’s preconceptions of what an eating disorder is it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem. Every disordered behaviour around food, eating, exercise and body image deserves to be addressed and taken seriously. (plane noises) Number 4: There are ways to treat people with eating disorders that are helpful and ways that aren’t so helpful. Something that I get asked a lot is how can I treat my loved one or my friend who has an eating disorder, what should I say to them, how can I help? I think because we’re so clueless about eating disorders we don’t know what to do around them, we kind of panic and often that leads to us saying things that can be really harmful. So I thought it’d be really handy to spit this category into Things Not To Do and Things To Do Do not make comments about someone’s weight or body if they have an eating disorder. Even if you think it’s a compliment or you think it’s nice they will latch onto that and you don’t know what their eating disorder will turn that into. For example, as soon as I started gaining a bit of weight in my recovery, the comments came pouring in and people would say to me ‘You look so much better now’ or ‘Congratulations on how you’ve filled out you look really well’ but because I was not mentally recovered yet I couldn’t handle those comments and my eating disorder really latched onto them and used them as proof that I’d got it all wrong and that I needed to go back and that I was essentially getting fat. And no matter what you say about someone’s body when they’re in that mindset, they can twist it into whatever their eating disorder wants it to mean. So just steer clear of weight and body comments in general. And that doesn’t mean that you can give compliments you can compliment them on who they are or you can say things like ‘I’m really glad you’re here’ or ‘I’m really happy to see you’, and that would actually count a lot more than a comment on how they look. Equally watch your own food and body talk when you’re around that person, because you really don’t know what could be triggering to someone else’s eating disorder. Things like constant diet talk, group body shaming or calorie counting? They are not helpful for someone with any kind of eating disorder to hear because they kind of normalise and reinforce what their eating disorder is already telling them. So cut that out. And if it wasn’t obvious enough already, don’t make any kind of jokes about eating disorders. Honestly there is nothing worse as someone who’s in recovery than watching a film or even listening to a song and all of a sudden they bust out some kind of flippant insensitive comment about anorexia or another eating disorder. That is such a gut punch feeling, especially if the people you’re with then laugh at it. So no jokes about eating disorders. Ever. Around anyone. Come on. And things that are good to do, when you have a loved one who’s struggling with an eating disorder. First of all: get educated There are so many resources out there, there’s so much you could learn even if you don’t understand right now or you’re scared, just give it a try, do some reading, go online. I’m gonna put a bunch of resources in the caption bit of this video, so go and read up because having a better understanding of eating disorders in general will make it easier to relate, it will make it less scary. The second thing that you can do, and this is a really important one you can let that person know that you are willing to listen in a completely non-judgemental capacity. Make them feel like you are a safe person that they can come to and they can really unload and share how they’re feeling, and that will mean more than you having the widest possible understanding of eating disorders already. Equally, be patient. I think it can be very frustrating for people who aren’t in that mindset to understand why things that seem easy to them seem like the hardest things in the world to someone with an eating disorder. Like if you go out for a meal and you’re just frustrated over why can’t they just do it why can’t they just be well, why can’t they just eat? Be patient with them. Because their mind has turned things that you think of as simple, into the most disastrous, terrifying things, so be patient. And this last one you should do if you have a loved one with an eating disorder I think this is the most important one to be honest with you. And that is to keep reminding that person of who they are underneath the eating disorder. Eating disorders can be so all consuming that they really strip people of who they once were and who they really are, and when you’re completely consumed in that way you start believing that there’s nothing more to you. That all you have is the eating disorder. Which then becomes another reason why you don’t think that you should let it go. So it’s so important for friends and family to keep treating you like the person that you are. Keep reminding you of all of the amazing memories that you’ve had together of your passions and your interests and what makes you laugh, and y’know even if that person isn’t reacting in the same way or doesn’t seem to be that person anymore they are still in there. It might just take a lot of digging to find them, but they need to be reminded of that. So keep trying, keep being a friend, keep treating them like a normal human being, because y’know that is what they are. And number five, the last thing that I want people to know about eating disorders, is that recovery looks different on every body. Now when I started my recovery at 16 I had a very disordered relationship with food and my weight really went from one extreme to the other I tripled my body weight within a year. And suddenly there I was in this newly chubby body back in a world saturated by diet culture, a world telling me my body was wrong again, and I felt like the biggest failure in the entire world. Because the only recovery stories I ever saw around me, the people had managed to stay thin. I had not managed to stay thin. I thought I couldn’t even do recovery right. But the thing is, there is no ideal recovery body. There just isn’t. It will look different on everyone and having this idea that there is an ideal body to reach when you hit recovery, that is stopping people from truly letting go and truly finding freedom. Because if you’re recovering from a restrictive eating disorder, and you’ve been told that you have to gain weight for your recovery you will have this idea that okay, maybe you can gain weight but only a certain amount and only in the right places. And then, that’s not recovery that’s a new obsession that’s watering it down but not letting go. You know there’s currently this trend happening online in recovery communities where fitspo is being held up as the way to recover. And a recovery body should be toned and muscular and only have fat in tiny amounts in just the right places. But the thing is, the fear of fat that lies at the heart of so many restrictive eating disorders and if you’re not addressing that if you’re not letting that go, then you’re just kind of hovering in a half recovery. And the truth when it comes to recovery is that however your body looks, when you are mentally the most free, and the most at peace with food and movement, that is how your body is supposed to look. That is your recovery body. It might not look how you thought it would, how you dreamed it would, how anyone else’s looks, but that’s where you’re supposed to be. And that body, wherever it ends up, is so so good enough and so worthy of acceptance and so worthy of your love. So let go of the idea that recovery looks a certain way, and just focus on getting your freedom. Okay so those are my top 5 things that I want people to know about eating disorders. That is not an exhaustive list and y’know most of it is based on my own experience, so it will have been centered around anorexia nervosa and restrictive eating disorders in general, but if there’s more that you want people to know then absolutely leave it in the comments, shout it from the rooftops, spread the word because we need to leave these eating disorder myths behind. It’s 2018 people, we need to get our shit together and get educated on this, because any amount of people struggling, is too many. Like I said I’ve put some resources down below so make sure you check them out and if you wanna hear more about my experiences or my take on eating disorders in general you can get a copy of my book, just sayin’, link is up there Thank you so much for watching, I will be back soon and I hope you have a really good day. Bye everyone!

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  1. First let me just say I recently discovered you and am obsessed. Second, thank you for sharing this. I struggled with bulimia nervosa for years before switching to anorexia. I looked “normal” with bulimia. When I was anorexic I wasn’t any more or less sick, but because it became physically noticeable the treatment people gave me changed. Eating disorders do come in all shapes and sizes and we’ve got to stop the stigma! I also don’t share my scary “before” pictures. In fact I deleted them all because they were toxic for me and triggering for others. Basically this long comment is to say I was nodding my head “YES” through this whole video and I want to give you hugs and high-fives.

  2. This is so amazing. You touch so many hearts, and I watch this and am amazed by you, and how passionate you are about this. And I feel like this whole culture creates a continuous downward spiral for every single persons view of their own body, me included. Thank you so much for this. If I could say so, you are one of my greatest role models.

  3. That atypical anorexia is zo strange as a diagnosis. I first had the diagnosis anorexia but now atypical because I have been recovery but not fully.

  4. This message is so good. When I those recovery they told me I don't have a specific eating disorder. I was on a 'normal', slim weight. I always felt like I couldn't identify with any eating disorder because I didn't fit the bill. Like my struggles didn't mean anything. Now, some years later, I am still figuring things out. I am learning about being body positive on the internet. First I thought, if I only would be smaller all my problems will disappear. I am not fooled by that thought any more!

  5. Thank you. I think I’m just beginning my recovery by recognizing my disordered eating and thinking. I love who you are as a person and thank you for educating people. You are sunshine! ❤️

  6. Thank you so much for your work, I cry while I was watching the video because you said absolutely all the things that my 15 years old me needed to hear (I'm 22 now and still in recovery) So thank you for your words, society really needs those ❤️

  7. Wow at first I thought I wouldn't watch the hole video, but I ended listening to every single thing you said. Such a helpful and informative video. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is wonderful, keep myth busting and spreading awareness! You are an inspiration to many 💖💖💖

  9. Maybe leave it to the doctors with years of studying and experience to diagnose someone, it a disease and its stupid to diagnose yourself for attention

  10. I remember reading in a magazine for KIDS how much I needed to exercise to burn off a certain amount of calories… and every month it was a different set of food we were being taught how to burn off. So happy for videos like this now.

  11. Girl yes!! Good on you for the disclaimer about not showing your before photo. When I was 12-16 I was anorexic and bulimic and I also had the scary stereotypical skin and bones body. But since then I started recovering (HUGELY thanks to your instagram and other content) but I still struggle sometimes and it's so hard looking in the mirror and not believing that I can still struggle with EDs as a curvier healthier-sized girl, because "that's not what eating disorders look like". You have saved me so many times, thank you 🌸

  12. Would you please do a video on how it was when you were hospitalized? I was in a psychiatric unit as well and I would really benefit from the support of someone else who has had been in one

  13. Your instagram has honestly helped me SO much. I just discovered you had a YouTube channel. Thank you so much for discussing this … I always feel awkward saying I have or had an ED … actually, saying ED is more comfortable than saying eating disorder. I feel awkward because I'm not always 100% fitting it to the T.

  14. Binge eating disorder when recovering from Bulimia at a healthy weight. Weight gain when you enter recovery at a healthy weight xx

  15. Disturbing trend I have noticed. Is that a lot of people who have eating disorders become, vacant and then they’re almost as obsessive about the vegan diet.

    To me doesn’t exactly look healthy. But at juts me.

  16. Yes yes yes and yes! Reallyyy thank you ! You said all! When i listened to you i am said « Yes! That’s exactly that! She understand all!! » that’s really rare… I LOVE YOU !

  17. Girl, you have no idea how accurate this video is… I recovered from ED like a year ago. Nobody helped me to fight this 'cause nobody really could. It was me who had to make the decision of quitting ED and then carry on. Damn, it was very tough at times, this whole fear of gaining weight and 'getting fat' but it was totally worth it. Although it was a long journey, I made it happen. Now I am living my life to the fullest but when I look back at those times I'm hella terrified. Like damn, I almost died and I lost myself – I was no longer the person I had used to be before my illness. The worst thing was being aware of it and not being able to do anything about it…
    Anyway, thank you so much for this. Great job!

  18. (The following comment contains mentions of eating disordered tendencies and may be triggering to some readers).

    What I always find particularly fascinating, and important, is the fact you brought up that eating disorders are not a choice. I often see people getting furiously mad when they see people "wishing they could have an eating disorder to lose weight" and absolutely slamming whoever said it. But I never get mad at this kind of statement, because the very people that are saying it often already have unhealthy and unsafe relationships with food. Healthy people would never wish for an eating disorder, especially when they see the stereotypical emaciated, tragic image of a skin and bones teenager in their head (which is obviously not true, but for healthy people often serves as a good deterrent). And I remember being a teenager and "choosing" an eating disorder. I thought that I was "too fat", and simply decided one day that I would stop eating to lose weight. Because of this, I didn't believe I qualified as an eating disorder for a long time. I'd made the CHOICE to not eat, it hadn't been gradual, it had been sudden and drastic and I knew exactly what I was doing to my body. No denial. I took pride in it, actually, and how well it was going. But the thing was, I told myself I would stop when I got where I wanted. And then that number kept dropping. And dropping. And so did I. I still struggle, because I feel often like my eating disorder isn't "valid", because I never got to the stereotype, and I made the "choice"– but the point you made reminds me again that by the time I got here, it already wasn't a choice any more like I always thought. I still feel that I cannot choose food, choose life, even with my awareness of the body positive community, a significant knowledge of eating disorders, and more, because I still don't feel like I'm sick enough for it to be a problem, for it to be something I have to stop. Yet I also recognize the ridiculousness of this statement: it was enough of a problem since the day my whole life started revolving around food and numbers. And as my awareness grows, so does my drive to actually stop this. Accepting that I didn't make a choice, I had a disordered brain that only convinced me that I was "in control" and "knew what I was doing" is an important first step for me.

    That got particularly long, but as always, adore you and your videos!

  19. I agree with mostly everything and thank you for sharing your journey and this message, but I think for some people like myself we turn to fitness in order to recover. I'm not saying people should all look the same,, and in some ways it is a new obsessive behavior, but because every journey is different some of us do really heal from the strength, emotionally and physically, one gains from working out. It's not the "right" recovery, but it is a kind of recovery nonetheless

  20. I used to suffer from Orthorexia. I cut all things that were not vegan. At the end I even doubted soy products. All I would eat was basically vegetables.. covered with a few sesame seeds. It can take over. Eating healthy is so great but it really can become an obsession until you perceive food in general as something toxic and harmful. And basically my entire day was thinking about what I eat, when I eat and counting how much it was in calories. And as you said: First they tell you that you're chubby. Then they compliment you and cheer on your "dedication". And then they see what's going on and tell you to "just eat more".

    Thank you for this video.

  21. Thank you for not including the picture. I've been bulimic for a long time, there was maybe a couple months of the last 11+ years I looked even remotely "very thin". I'm still struggling badly but I just look a bit chubby so no one thinks I'm ill at all, plus I'm "too old".

  22. Literally in tears especially about how every recovery body is different… I struggled with this well struggle still with this sooo much! I also gained so much weight a lot from binge eating starting my recovery but I do not have a thin body now and I struggle with thinking i recovered wrong or that my eating disorder wasn’t bad enough… it is so terrible but having YOU say this helps so much. Thank you so so much for this video I am going to show everyone I know so they can understand this too

  23. I'm so glad your on YouTube now. I have a video request! Can you do a video on body image and being disabled. Both visible and and non visible disabilities. (Request not a demand 😉

  24. I really like the way you present this issue in the video. It's informative, genuine and it's also positive. I truly believe that's how the voice of body-positive movement has to sound 🙂
    I wish more people could watch it, especially in my country (I live in Eastern Europe). You are right, so much more people could have been saved if we were just more educated on the EDs. Thank you so much for spreading this message, I truly believe more self-love and acceptance can save the world ❤

  25. Thank you for mentioning how people with eating disorders don't always know they have one, even when it seems really obvious. I used laxatives for a long time and didn't even know that was a way that bulimia presents itself. I'm in recovery now, not taken laxatives in a few years, and I've stopped feeling the urge to, but I do still binge and then feel the need to exercise. I avoid exercise because I know that I won't be able to do it for healthy reasons at the moment. One day, perhaps, but I don't want to fall into that trap. Just an aside; it was NEVER about my weight or the way that I look.

  26. Woah. Didn't even realize I had an economical stereotype about eating disorders until you brought it up. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  27. Thank you for this. Not all eating disorders look alike. For a long time I didn’t believe I had one because I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t thin enough. But mentally I was there. I lived in self hate, I barely ate, I worked out everyday. I was passing out at school. But I was thick. That was just my body. Without clothes on my collar bone and ribs were sticking out but with clothes on I just looked like a thick girl. In my mind I was disgusting. But people just kept telling me how great I looked. To keep going. I finally got in therapy after a few friends spoke to me.

  28. Dear Megan, I seriously love your videos! You are always so positive (bodyposipanda indeed 🐼) and you educate all of us about the 'hot stuff' that's so important, but not many people dare to talk about. Your work is so meaningful and I want to thank you for all your bravery and honesty 👏

    I listened to the last "Get it off your breast" podcast, so I'm really trying to avoid sounding like "Soooo what's next…?" 😂 I'd just really like to ask you, if you can make a video on how to be a great ally to your friends and/or family members starting their body positivity journey and/or struggling with their body image. Again: lots of love and appreciation for your work and a big THANK YOU! 💞

  29. I'm in the verge of tears watching this video. This is the first time I'm hearing this sort of speech around eating disorders. And if I'm understanding this right it probably means I should be getting treatment.
    But also i have a question, my mom is a Doctor and has all my life been telling me with a medical chart in hand what I should weight according to my height for my body to be healthy. How do I get over the medical part of it? Like, how can I stop thinking weight is the way to health when I have, you know, doctor's orders under my own roof?
    I've been following you on social media for a year now and the more I look into body positivity the more impossible feels for me to think about myself in a positive way.
    I'm sorry if this message reads the wrong way, english is not my first language.
    Thank you for this video.

  30. PREACH omfg, i am a privileged, thin white person but i 1000000% agree with the first few bits you’ve mentioned in this video. i haven’t watched the whole video, which i’m about to do, but i’m already super on board with what you’re saying.

  31. I just recently discovered you and am currently reading your book. Thank you for sharing your story. I was also anorexic and am now sharing my story. I just posted a video about body positivity. I don't see many men sharing their experiences with this so I am hoping I can change that and shed some light on men with eating disorders as well.

  32. I got a lot of, "you need to eat," and explanations why, as if I hadn't done all that research on my own 🙄
    Also I'd like to add that your recovery body doesn't need to be your, "ideal body." Like you said it's your natural body and so whatever you like is someone else's natural body! It took me a long time to realize that the things I want are things I should admire in people and let people admire the natural things about me.

  33. That's the longest vid I've seen in a year I SWEAR but I stick to it to the end. You rock it girl! I'm in my recovery since last summer and that's exactly what I need now most!
    Btw, what's your opinion of people going vegan(especially high carb ones🙄) in or after their recoveries?

  34. I freaking love you and your work so very much. Keep it up, keep posting, keep spreading health and truth. 💖💜❤️💛

  35. I don't want to go into it publicly, but thank you for that few minutes of this video. I need reminding of that every 5 minutes, cause i'm in the 'i feel like a failure' stage. So thank you for being in a good enough place to say it out loud. I hope to get there one day/ Much Love x

  36. The last two minutes(!!) I've been struggling for 18 years with this shit and I honestly can't remember who I am. I've never gotten proper help, but I no longer have the stereotypical "anorexia body", however, mentally I haven't recovered. At all. As soon as I'm able to, I'd love to receive help but until then I'll be playing the last few minutes of this video on a loop.

  37. Every time I listen to you speak I am more and more impressed. Continue sharing your knowledge for the rest of us! This was a very informative video.

  38. Its a struggle !
    Some people even feels that nose jobs are an investment.
    Eating disorders are just a brain spook.
    Nobody is perfect so why should i try to be perfect.
    Its about the balance of being a slob &perfectionist.
    Never be at top and never be at the buttom.
    Look up Look down look left look right
    Look infront look in the back the enemy can come from every angle.
    When you are out on the highway always make sure i got somebody driving faster than yourself .
    Never take the lead.

  39. Thank you 🙏

    I’ve always been bigger, but suffered with bulimia for a really long time. While I was able to stop purging (mostly) it’s been hard to stop binging, and it feels weird to seek help 😐

  40. Omg @bodyposipanda i love u and i wish i could be as body positive as u are.
    I have gained a lot of weight due to medications for my mental health. Because of the weight gain my already huge boobs have gotten bigger and i am in so much pain all the time.
    I went to my doctors the other day and i was told that i was too fat to get any help with my pain. They said that i was obese even though im not really fat but i have fat on my body. According to my doctors i have to lose 25-30kg to get help and that is a third of my bodyweigt.
    I feel so bad now beccause i cant lose weight because of my medicin but i have to lose weight if im going to get any help for my pain in my boobs, ribcase, back, shoulders and neck.

  41. Australian TV show "dance academy," has some quite good portrayals of athletes who struggle with eating disorders. they look strong and healthy but are severely overexercising, under eating and purging.

  42. Ok, don’t get me wrong I agree with most of what your saying, so please don’t shit on me for having an opinion, and don’t think that’s what I’m doing to you. But “fatphobia” isn’t a thing, people don’t see a fat person on the street and start screaming and running the other way (just picture that in your head for a moment). Some people are not sexually attracted to larger bodies, and there’s nothing wrong with that it’s just personal preference. Some people may be scared for your health, but not necessarily of you. Being extremely over weight can be equally as unhealthy as being extremely underweight. I’m not saying “you have to look like this” insert image of a “perfect body” I’m saying just eat healthy, eat a good amount of food, and take care of yourself. And a lot of times people aren’t fat shaming, but trying to explain that your being unhealthy (unless they’re being an asshole about it, then feel free to eat them too). I hope this comment doesn’t offend anyone, it wasn’t in any way meant to be offensive to anyone.

  43. I loved your second point "just eat more" because for me it isn't that simple, I was hospitalised with a brain infection and I get put on numerous drugs to try and help trat it but one of those drugs got rid of my appetite and then when I got taken of that drug my mental illness had already latched into my mind and I don't feel like I have that illness, I just don't feel hungry anymore and no one understands it. Thank you so much for not even knowing me and being able to understand what I've going through for years with my brain infection and mental illnesses. You are an amazing person <3

  44. Love this video. So true I was very close to not going to the ed clinic because I thought they'd turn me away because I was "too fat" to struggle with anorexia and body dismorphia despite being referred by my therapist. I'm so glad for bloggers like you and grace etc. Without you guys I would have never started my recovery journey ❤️❤️ thank you so much.

  45. The best thing I’ve watched all year👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 thank you for helping me get out of bed today 💜💜💜💜💜💜 lots of love!

  46. Really great video! I don't have an ED or ever had one, but I struggle with accepting my body as it is or seing beauty in myself. And when you said, that every recovery-body is good enough and worthy and beautiful, my heart felt as if this counts for me too. Those words just touched something inside me. Thanks for this! And to everyone out there who has and ED: Sending love to all of you!!!

  47. Really love this vid! Such great information, and your vibe is awesome. Keep spreading the wisdom and love!

  48. Very informative and Inspiring video…My partner struggled constantly with Eating disorders and over the years I have watched him get better through a friends recommendation. …I hope it works for anyone struggling.goodluck.xx

  49. I struggled with anorexia in the past but am now struggling with bulimia. Not many people belived me because I "Don't look sick" due to me not being underweight. People need more education about eating disorders because it's nearly impossible to find the help needed to recover when no one believes your mental illness is real.

  50. I have struggled on and off since I was 10, once I started puberty I was obsessed with being small , and thought I was getting fat when I was actually just developing a female figure . I never looked typically like I had one , it was suppressing food at first then binging and purging. I was never happy with myself, I was always comparing and had unsupportive people around me I was able to hide it well. I was very unhealthy and then I got pregnant and instead of suppressing my appetite, and purging, I ended up binging and gaining a lot going from unhappy size 10/12 under 10 stone , to size 18 over 15 stone. I had my son and as a emotional crutch I ended up continuing binging and being very cruel to myself about my new appearance. I breastfed because I knew it'd force me to not have unhealthy behaviors and lose weight a healthier way. Only now after having both my kids age 5 & 3 am I becoming more confident , but the effects my eating habits are having on my health are now very negative. I suffer with IBS , flare ups , pain & have to be on a restricted elimination low fodmap diet , which is hell. I am also having blood tests to try and find out what the cause is.

  51. I don’t think what you’ve said can be put any more perfectly. Beautiful person, beautiful words 🙂 you’re so strong and you’re empowering people, you’re amazing. Thank you 💜

  52. Girl you just amazing. I love how you are so inclusive. I have OCD and am very messy…anyone can "have" anything. Mental disorders are so hard and I adore you for the work you do 💗😘. You are helping so many people love

  53. Honestly I am so thankful, not only for this video, but your whole channel. You make me believe that there is hope to love and accept yourself no matter your size. Honestly I am close to being underweight now and I’ve been underweight my whole life, but I’ve never felt skinny for a second. It doesn’t matter which size you are, loving yourself is in your mind, not your body. Thankyou for giving me hope and inspiring me to recover from my eating disorder. We need more people like you in this world <3

  54. I got so obsessed with dieting I used to wonder how many calories were in my spit. Ridiculous. Now I'm 11 stone, 5ft 5 and happy. Body positive x

  55. Hey 💕👋
    I have a question about exercising after recovery. I stopped exercising for my Recovery 3 years ago (And I am ashamed of it). I only go for a walk a few times per week and do short soft yoga very rarely. And you know what? Apart of the guilt my ED drives me to feel I feel very good with it. Exercise never was something that gave me joy. I never enjoyed it. No my problem is that I am afraid I have to start exercising again some time later on. When I am recovered and on my setpoint and so on. Because it's what healthy people do and all doctors recommend, huh? That gives me some pressure. Because I simply don't want to exercise again (apart from that walks and a little bit of steching and yoga sometimes – but not regularly! I honestly feel attached to it very rarely…)!
    So I wanted to ask you: Do I HAVE to exercise after recovery?

  56. I didn't think I was anorexic because I wasn't thin enough to be sick but I still wasn't eating enough in a day. No breakfast, a peice of toast for lunch and an apple for dinner. I've been mostly recovered for 2 years.

  57. Thank you so much for your videos. I have been ED free for a month and a half. You mean so much to me. I hope you make a lot more videos. I can't wait to read your book.

  58. Sometimes I worry that I have an eating disorder, but I don't starve myself of make myself sick. I just have a very unhealthy relationship with food and my body. But I can't be sick because I don't starve myself right?

  59. i have b.e.d and literally no one believes me. gaining 30 pounds in 1 month isn't normal. you can tell ive gained weight but no one helps me with recovery always going out to eat all the time. its so stressful

  60. Wow the part where you spoke about people sitting around a table where they could cause the most people to have an ED, and you said they decided on our current reality just blew me. Changed my mind set completely

  61. Never forget that anorexia nervosa is the most lethal psychological disorder in America. Its more dangerous than depression. Anyone who says eating disorders aren't a real issue doesn't understand the implications of diet culture

  62. I have a family member that I don't really get along with that definitely has an eating disorder. We went out to dinner with another relative visiting so it was a special occasion, and she literally brought pills for her dinner. I asked her what the were and she said they were "carb blockers", but she literally didn't eat anything. I worry about it because she sees what she does as what she should be doing and backing it up with doctors that will tell her what she wants to hear. She makes comments on what everyone eats, I had 3 rolls at that dinner, but me being a plus sized woman she did everything in her power to put the bread at the other end of the table where no one was sitting. If I eat something around her she WILL make a comment about it, even grab it from me and tell me what the ingredients are and making a disgusted face… frankly it's upsetting and pisses me off, but I do care for her and want her to stop living a life that is so focused on her obsessions and enjoy the senior years of her life. It's toxic for her, and toxic for those around her. I worry she will bring someone into that obsession with her. How would you even go about helping someone like that? Can you help someone like that?

  63. The app MyFitnessPal put me into my eating disordered behavior. I was eating 800-1200 calories a day and working out 6 days a week… for 4 years!! I was constantly looking for answers about how I was barely eating and exercising almost every day and STILL had fat on my belly. It wasn't until last year I broke down and just didn't want the mental struggle anymore. Hating myself for eating a piece of candy or pasta and never eating anything but salad. I thought it was normal for so long and then realized I just wasn't happy. I was thin (and quite underweight) and I thought that was the ideal body I wanted even though I was mentally struggling and so unhappy. Today, at a healthy weight, I'm so so happy. I don't need to fit a size 2 or look like a girl in a fitness magazine. Then this year I unfollowed all social media accounts that glorify weight loss. You and so many other body positive accounts have encouraged me so much to heal and recover from years of torturing my body and mind. So, THANK YOU! <3 Keep doing what you're doing girl!

  64. I also started dieting at age 9. My daughter is 10. Today I had her promise me she would never go on a diet. She pinky promised. I hope I can raise her to be a body positive power house.

  65. You would never be diagnosed with AN professionally nowadays with the addition of OFFSED/EDNOS and you are still eating disordered because you can’t maintain a normal BMI because you still have an unhealthy and disordered relationship with food.

  66. People who are overweight and obese are ”losers” as in giving up and getting last place. YES I WAS OBESE TOO but when I was I was always giving and I don’t anymore and I EAT THE RIGHT AMOUNT AND STILL EAT JUNK FOOD AND AM 105 LBS at 5’1” ft

  67. Thankuuuuu sooo muchhhhh

    I really needed this video

    I was not able to explain to anyone why i am behaving like this why the little thought about fat makes me mad and what is exactly happening to me.

    But this just explained atleast the basic.

    Thankyouuuuuu atleast now i know that i am not the only one and so i am not doing anything wrong to my family.

    Probably now i can forgive myself for my behaviour and understand that why my family was not able to understand me


    It would really help❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  68. I have battled with eating disorders since I was 16. I am 33 and trying my best to heal from years of starving myself / binge eating / calorie counting / over exercising etc. A few times I have been severely underweight, yet no one batted an eye. Everyone told me I was beautiful and asked me what I was doing to be so thin. I lied and said I was eating well and exercising. Sure, that is what I believed at the time, but it was not the whole truth. I have recently gained weight, and every day I think about ways I could starve myself or that I should be spending most of the day moving my body. Food consumes my mind, and I worry about what others will think of the weight I have gained. Anyway, I just want to say how glad I am to have stumbled across you on youtube, thank you for all the content you share, I have had days where I do not want to go outside because I feel so ashamed of myself, but after I watch you for a while I feel a sense of courage and I can move on with my life. Eating disorders rob us from living our lives, and I would rather LIVE than be trapped in this never ending cycle.

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